Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Polenta is Yankee for Grits!

I could eat polenta every day. Really. Especially now when the New England winter is settling in (snow on Thanksgiving!). It's savory and hearty and comforting, especially cooked in milk.

I found a nice baked polenta recipe with tomato sauce that's good with everything from chicken to steak. Heat some milk, salt and butter in a pan. Just when the butter is melted, slowly stir in the cornmeal. I prefer a whisk to quickly distribute the cornmeal so it doesn't clump but I understand there's some cult out there that dictates polenta must be cooked with a wooden spoon. Whatever.

Bring the pot to a simmer, then turn the heat to low (you still need a few bubbles), and stir until it gets nice and thick. Stir in two egg yolks and grated parmesan nice and easy. Tip the polenta into a greased baking pan or a baking pan lined with plastic wrap with extra hanging over the sides. Let it cool, then cover the polenta and refrigerate until the polenta is firm (I usually do this a day or two ahead).

Whenever you're ready to eat it, turn the polenta out of the pan and onto a board. Cut the polenta into squares and put them back into the original baking pan, but overlap them so the squares are leaning on each other (the better to expose more surface to the heat). Brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with some Parmesan and bake until the squares are a nice golden color. You don't have to use the whole recipe in this step; I usually just cut four pieces for the two of us, then wrap up the rest, put it back in the fridge and use a different baking pan. It will keep for several days. Now top the puffy squares with your favorite tomato sauce or even just serve them as is.


Anonymous LisaSD said...

Surely sounds good!

1:44 AM  

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